Lamont opens campaign HQ in Bridgeport

August 3, 2018

BRIDGEPORT — Ned Lamont, the Democrat’s endorsed candidate for governor, opened his sixth campaign office Thursday in the bailiwick of his primary opponent — Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim.

The Main Street office is down the street from Ganim, Ganim and Ganim, the law firm of Joe Ganim’s father and brother. Lamont said neither the decision to open an office in Bridgeport nor its timing — 12 days before the primary — is meant as a challenge to Ganim.

“There is no significance per se that this is Bridgeport. It just shows the breadth of our campaign. We’re everywhere,” said Lamont. “I’m not going to shy away either. If I win the nomination on Aug. 14, I’m going to be working with Bridgeport and hopefully Mayor Ganim.”

But speaking to a group of about 20 supporters at the opening, Lamont did take a swing at Ganim’s record in the city.

“I’ve heard a lot about Bridgeport during this campaign this last little while, about all the nascent things that are happening — I have a feeling that about 98 percent of them started under (Ganim’s predecessor) Bill Finch,” said Lamont.

Finch, who was mayor of Bridgeport from 2007 to 2015 and attended the opening, declined to comment.

Ganim, who was Bridgeport’s mayor from 1991 to 2003, when he was convicted of 16 federal charges involving the misuse of more than $500,000 in public funds, called Lamont’s statement “unfounded.”

“He’s a nice guy but he doesn’t have a clue,” said Ganim, who was re-elected to the mayor’s spot five years after he finished serving seven years of a nine-year sentence by a city willing to give him a second chance. “He obviously doesn’t do his homework and his statements are not fact-based.”

Lamont spent the day in Bridgeport meeting with local small business owners at a barbershop, toured Housatonic Community College and visited a farmer’s market.

State Sen. Ed Gomes, a Bridgeport Democrat, introduced Lamont Thursday night as his longtime friend and supporter.

“He’s going to be someone who can do something for working people,” Gomes said.

Ninety-two-year-old Laurayne Farrar-James, a former Bridgeport councilwoman for the 139th District, said she was at the event to hear Lamont spell out how he would bring fairness to government and support Bridgeport schools.

emunson@hearstmediact.com; Twitter: @emiliemunson

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